Eligibility for SSA benefits for people with disabilities
People with disabilities may qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA), based on their own work history, based on the work history of a parent or spouse who is retired, disabled or deceased or based on financial need. Comparison of SSA’s programs for people with disabilities
Social Security Administration Benefits - Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
County benefits - Medical Assistance, Minnesota Supplemental Aid (MSA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly Food Support, Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and general assistance
Each year, the Social Security Administration raises certain limits related to their work rules for people with disabilities. These limits are expected to increase again on Jan. 1 of next year.
The first step in avoiding benefit overpayments and underpayments is to verify the amounts and types of benefits that you receive. Social Security Administration (SSA) and other public program rules about working vary. It is critical that you know which benefits you receive, so you will know which specific work rules apply to your situation.
If you are working with the Minnesota Work Incentives Connection, we may verify your benefits as part of our assistance to you. If you want to check on your own benefits, you can do so at no cost. There are two ways to verify your benefits through SSA:
1. Benefits Verification Letter - Call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY)and request a Benefits Verification Letter. You will need your Social Security number and may be able to get initial verification verbally.
2. Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) - Call your local SSA office or 1-800-772-1213 and request a Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) for more complete information about your benefits.
Monitoring wages and benefits
Monitoring your benefits can be very complex, especially if you receive multiple benefits. What each benefits provider needs from you varies according to your personal circumstances. If you follow the simple steps listed below, you will have all or most of the information they might request.
There are a few easy steps that you can take for effective benefits monitoring:
Most importantly, be sure to report to your benefits providers whenever you start and stop work and when you have changes in your wages. This will help avoid overpayments. Here is a telephone log to track every time you talk to someone to document for your records.
Receiving an overpayment notice from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is frustrating and frightening for most people. Overpayments can range from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. It is very important that you respond to an overpayment letter within 60 days or you may lose your opportunity to appeal SSA's decision.
Luckily, the procedures for appealing an overpayment are included with each overpayment notice. Here are a few tips to determine which steps to take:
Other things to know:
Although the Work Incentives Connection can help you resolve many different issues with your benefits providers, there may be times when you need to consult an attorney. The Minnesota Disability Law Center provides legal assistance to people with disabilities. If they cannot assist you directly, they may refer you to an attorney who can at the Minnesota Disability Law Center.
Expedited Reinstatement of Social Security Cash Benefits Expedited Reinstatement (EXR) allows people whose Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits ended because of their earnings to have those benefits restarted without having to file a completely new application.
The purpose is to encourage people to work more by removing fears that they won’t be able to access Social Security again if their situation changes. Paperwork for EXR is minimal and the process is relatively quick. Under EXR, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may pay up to 6 months of provisional benefits while they determine if the individual still meets their criteria for receiving benefits based on a disability. If SSA denies the request for ongoing benefits, they generally will not require that the individual repay the provisional benefits.
Do you qualify? You must say yes to all of these to qualify:
How do you apply?
Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 and ask for an appointment to apply for Expedited Reinstatement. Or, call or visit your local Social Security Administration office. Note: Your Social Security representative may recommend that you complete a new application instead of pursuing EXR. This may be more advantageous for you depending on your situation.
What else should I know?
Once you have received 24 months of benefits after qualifying for EXR, you will get a new Trial Work Period (TWP) and Extended Period of Eligibility to test your ability to increase your earnings again.